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How to Loop With t:slim & Dexcom G6

Looping,” “hybrid closed-loop,” and “artificial pancreas,” are the latest buzzwords in the diabetes community, and for good reason. The cutting edge closed-loop technology is designed to automatically adjust insulin dosage based on predicted blood sugar levels. To achieve this, the closed-loop pump works with a CGM. Looping is appealing to people living with diabetes because it means one less thing for us to think about! It’s freeing not to wonder if your basal rate is too high or low, and to know that your pump will automatically adjust your insulin if your blood sugar starts to rise or drop. Looping also helps people with diabetes to achieve more time with their blood sugars in range and better A1cs. It’s no wonder that everyone is talking about looping!

If you’re interested in trying a hybrid closed-loop pump, one option is the Tandem t:slim pump paired with the Dexcom G6 CGM. It’s easy to set up, has many amazing features, and regularly receives software updates so that you always have the latest diabetes technology at your fingertips. Read on to find out more!

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How to Loop With t:slim and Dexcom G6

If you’re ready to try looping with the t:slim and Dexcom G6, you’ll need both the t:slim insulin pump and Dexcom G6 sensors and transmitters. If you haven’t used them before, you can talk to your doctor about switching to this method of managing your diabetes.

If you already use the t:slim pump and Dexcom G6 CGM, you’ll have to download a software update for your t:slim pump. The update allows you to connect your CGM with your pump via Bluetooth. Tandem also provides online training to teach you how to use the closed-loop system.

Once your pump is updated, it will be compatible with your Dexcom G6 sensors. You can pair your transmitter with your pump the same way you connect it with a receiver or phone. First, in the menu select “My CGM.” Then select “Transmitter ID” and enter your Dexcom transmitter code. Now you can start your sensor session on your pump!

When your pump and CGM sensor are paired, your t:slim pump uses a special algorithm called Control-IQ to automatically adjust your basal insulin. It uses your CGM values to predict what your blood sugar will be in 30 minutes and adjusts insulin dosage every five minutes. Here’s a breakdown of Control IQs best features:

Control-IQ constantly adjusts your basal insulin depending on if your blood sugar is rising or falling. This helps you keep your blood sugar in range for more time and avoid severe high or low blood sugar.

When it detects your blood sugar is rapidly falling, Control-IQ suspends your insulin automatically to lessen the severity of or even avoid hypoglycemia.

When your blood sugar is high, Control-IQ delivers automatic correction boluses once an hour.

These modes change the way Control-IQ adjusts your insulin to keep your blood sugar in range. In the Sleep Activity mode, it lowers and narrows your target range since there are less variables that affect your blood sugar while you’re sleeping. With the Exercise Activity mode, Control-IQ uses a slightly higher target range to avoid low blood sugars from exercise.

All of these features and more are available when you connect your t:slim pump with your Dexcom G6. If your sensor session ends or you’re out of range, the pump will automatically switch to your programmed basal profile. So no need to worry if you want to take a break from your CGM or you don’t have sensors available. The t:slim will still work like a normal pump when no CGM data is available.

Another bonus with the t:slim pump is that they regularly release software updates for the pump when new features are available. That means you can get the latest diabetes tech without having to buy a new pump.

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Benefits of Hybrid Closed-loop Technology

Thanks to Control-IQ hybrid closed-loop technology, users experience an average of 2.6 more hours in range compared to people who use an insulin pump and CGM separately. That’s a huge difference and a boost in quality of life for someone with diabetes.

But beyond better time in range, another incredible benefit is the decrease in the mental load of living with diabetes. With partially automated insulin delivery, you can spend less time thinking about your blood sugar and insulin dosage. It can help decrease stress and anxiety and give you more freedom to do things you love. Control-IQ users love the benefits of the system for their health and emotional well-being.

Ready to loop with t:slim and Dexcom G6? Whatever pump or CGM you use, Not Just a Patch has everything you need to keep your infusion sets and sensors attached for longer. Check out our Dexcom G6 products in our shop!

*Disclaimer: The information within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only.

Article medically reviewed by Adil Maqbool, MD on April 06, 2023

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